“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Have you ever heard that quote or some variation of it? Of course you have. You’re nodding along as you read this because it has been a phrase that has been on loop from our role models since we were kids. Admit it: your parents, your teachers, and your coaches have beaten this romantic view of work and passion into our heads for years.
Truth be told, it is a powerful quote. It’s full of hope and possibility for life and career fulfillment. Unfortunately, the quote tells us more about what to do, but leaves out how to do it entirely.
So how do we figure out how to find that passion? Or better yet, how do we find out what we’re passion about?
How To Find Your Passion
For some reason, passion seems to be like the Loch Ness Monster. People sure as hell are looking to find it, but seem to come up empty handed. I think this is because many people are far too passive in their pursuit of their passion. We sit and we wait for this gift of passion to bestowed upon us, when in reality we have to go find it. You’re not going to wake up tomorrow and be passionate about writing poetry, working with children, or caring for the elderly. It just doesn’t work like that. What it is more necessary is a TON of trial and error.
Take me for instance. About 4 months ago I coerced my lovely wife into starting a blog about macronutrients, IIFYM, and general diet and exercise. Last year, when we got married, I followed the ideals of IIFYM and had substantial success and Christina had just started doing the same. We both appreciated the system and our successes within it, so we felt that maybe we could motivate some more people to make some positive changes like we had. Did we know what we were doing? No, not really. We certainly weren’t experts, but we felt sharing our story and it’s highs and lows would resonate with some folks out there. We didn’t know where it would lead or even if it would be any good, but we gave it a shot.
During that time I started reading. A LOT. I started out reading things that were more practical to the blog and my immediate life (IIFYM books and “how to be good with money” books), but after a while the books I read began to evolve into the personal development genre. Once I started I couldn’t stop. I truly felt inspired by the content of these books. I read everything from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, to Mindset by Carol Dweck, to Linchpin by Seth Godin. After inhaling so much information, I think the passion light finally came on. It wasn’t writing about IIFYM, diet and exercise that excited me, but helping people in general that shook me to the core. In thinking about it, one of the main reasons I wanted to start the IIFYM and health blog was to help make positive change in that area of life. I didn’t want to be tied down to just that anymore. We switched up the theme of the blog, started sharing more content about how to better your entire life, and haven’t looked back since.
The point it is that you won’t know what your passion is until you entertain your curiosities. I had no idea that starting down the path of blogging and bettering myself through diet would land me here-writing about making true, positive change a lifestyle-where I’m most passionate.
Entertain and Explore Your Curiosities
Make a list of the things that you enjoy doing or the things that you are most curious about. Now, from that list, identify the things that wouldn’t invoke major lifestyle changes to entertain (maybe start a blog, join a dance class, or a rec league basketball team). Start yourself down the path of curiosity and let your work do the rest.
One of three things can happen:
- You found exactly what you were looking for and your interest has now become a burning passion.
- You found out that you didn’t really like that thing at all. Now you have more free time to entertain other possible passions.
- On the path of entertaining that curiosity you found a different path that really lights you up (like personal development did for me). If you hadn’t gone down the original path, you wouldn’t even know that this new path existed.
Isn’t it worth it? Hell, you may even end up finding a way to get paid for it. Imagine that, getting paid for what you love to do. It may take a lot of trial and error until you find that thing that makes you crazy with excitement. That thing that lights you up in the morning and doesn’t allow you to press snooze. That’s okay. The time will pass either way. At least now, you are heading down the path of finding your passion and your purpose. It won’t make it’s way to you, you have to go on a treasure hunt.The most rewarding treasure hunt of your life.
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